DevMode
The Institute for Peace Research at Givat Haviva, whose aim is to further historiographical research on subjects pertaining to attempts to solve the Israel-Arab conflict, published a collection of seven articles on "Islam and Peace". They appeared in Hebrew, with Arabic and English synopses. We are publishing extacts from two of these articles, by Dr. Ilan Pappe and by Ibrahim Malik.
Our purpose here is to look for "Islamic moderates" - to define them and evaluate their strength and influence. We will not expect to include in the definition of "moderate" a different attitude to Israel. One must not forget that since the creation of the state of Israel, no Muslim group, neither from the establishment nor the periphery, managed to seize power in the confrontation states with Israel. On the contrary, the three states leading the campaign against Israel - Egypt, Syria and Iraq - were taken over during the conflict by groups possessing an out-and-out secular orientation and ideology, sometimes even extremist in their attitude to Islam and tradition. As against this, in spite of their clear anti-Israeli rhetoric, the regimes more conservative and conciliatory in their attitude to religion - like the Saudi Arabian, Jordanian and Moroccan regimes - did not stand out in their hostility toward Israel.
We set out, therefore, to illuminate the more pragmatic, conciliatory face of the religious establishment, and of part of its exremists periphery, toward political and social questions. If we will indeed find that there is such a face in the Arab environment surrounding us, we will at least be able to avoid the tendency to crown Islam with exclusively fanatical and violent stigmas. We are aware that the pragmatic face is not the only one of contemporary Arab Islam. However, in our view, it is an aspect on which insufficient light has been shed because of the tendency in the Israeli media, and the natural public interest in this direction, to concentrate on the more militant expressions of Islam.
We will want to examine how the establishment and the extremists behave in face of the Middle Eastern reality: a reality dictated by accelerated processes of Westernization and modernization which reached a peak in the establishment of the national Arab states in the 1920's. Discussing the adaptation of the Islamic example to the changing political reality, both internal and external, we will concentrate on intellectual endeavors in the Arab world to clarify the commands and decrees of Islam with the help of interpretations sustained by western political science and European philosophy. ~acking these, we will at least try to find tendencies to compromise with the reality by means of lenient interpretations of those Islamic commands which make it difficult for the believer to adapt to changing reality.
We will discover that in the not-too-distant past there were those who saw a connection between democratic and liberal world-outlooks and religious interpretions and we will try to point to a conciliatory trend in relation to the reality in our period. Discussing these historical phenonema and studying pragmatic trends in our day can lead us to a number of conclusions, naturally tentative, as regards the actual ability of Islamic Arab establishments, or fundamentalist movements, to conduct any dialogue with the Jewish state, or even to accomodate themselves to its existence.

Religious dogma and the political reality
The need to give new interpretations to eternal principles arose in the Middle East with the start of contact with the European-colonialist culture at the end of the eighteenth century. The outstanding answer given by the religious establishment, both in the Ottoman Empire and in Egypt, was one of conciliatory interpretation of religious dogma. Those preaching this compromise acted according to the western cultural heritage. This process grew stronger in the course of the nineteenth century and reached its peak in the eighth decade of that century during the term of the religious leader Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) as the Sheik of al-Azhar.
Abduh combined fundamentalism (that is, preaching a return to the fundamentals of Islamic religion as interpreted before the penetration of foreign influences) with liberal and democratic interpretation of the principles of religion.
Parallel to this effort, another alternative answer to the western challenge started to stand out. This was an attempt to grasp fundamentalism as the only defense, without using "western scaffolding" against the penetration of the West. This response demanded adapting the reality to religious dogma without compromise. Abduh tought that in the glorious past the Islamic fathers clove to ideas which Europe would adopt later under the influence of Islam, beginning with the Renaissance period. Therefore, from the beginning of this century, fundamentalists of Abduh's school of thought do not necessarily negate western liberal-democratic influence in interpreting Islamic dogma.
The researcher Fuad Ajami claims that in the same fundamentalist trend which is not assisted by the West in order to interpret religious dogma, one can distinguish two main streams: extreme fundmentalism which chooses violence and "forcing the issue" as the best way to realize the Salafi idea; and another stream, which he calls "Conservative fundamentalism". This is prepared to compromise to some extent with those local political forces involved, and with secularists who grew in the wake of the European penetration of the Middle East. The present regimes in Saudia Arabia, Jordan and Morocco are based, in Ajami's opinion, on silent agreements with this sort of "Conservative fundamentalism".
Moreover, according to him the central trend in the "Muslim Brethren" has always belonged to this trend of thought.
We will deal with these two trends in Islamic dcommentary: the one helped by liberal-European thought - often called "modernist Islam" or by Leonard Binder "Islamic Liberalism", I and the one which comprises but without any direct connection with the West - Conservative fundamentalism. The great British Orientalist H.A.R.Gibb was among the first to expound the view that Islamic modernism is first and foremost a function of western liberalism. Thus, it was to be expected that the general aim of the modernists was to interpret Islam in the spirit of liberal and humanistic ideas and values. "Islam is not opposed to these (western liberal) ideas; but they soon went on to claim that Islam is the embodiment of them in their highest and most perfect form" (pg.70).

Islam moderates: modernist and liberal Islam
Muhammad Abduh developed an Islamic interpretation which would serve as a source of inspiration for a vision of a parliamentary regime and a democratic society. It is important to emphasize that the reference is to someone holding one of the most senior positions in Islam. Muhammad Abduh chose as the prisms through which he interpreted the principles of Islam, people like Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer, as well as European thinkers from various trends. In this interpretation, Islam provided the source of inspiration for parliamentarism, the division of functions and political sovereignty. 2
Along with this, one cannot overlook that Abduh/s interpretation did not include any special stress on the rights of the individual and his freedoms, a subject without which it would be hard to call any thinking as dealing with liberalism or democracy. It can be claimed that the lack of these items in his theory reflects on the attitude of the thinker toward them. H.A.R. Gibb believes that this defect stems from the fact that in his basic outlook Abduh is nevertheless a fundamentalist. In his view, both Abduh/s teaching and that of Sir Ahmad Khan, the distinguished Indian reformist who preceded Abduh and influenced him, tried to prove that Islam is not a fossilised system and does not constitute an obstacle to the progress of thought, but they did not free themselves from "the dominant role of tradition in Islam".3
A part of Abduh/s successors in spite of these limitations even pondered the question of Islam and citizens' rights. One of the outstanding figures among them was Mahmud al-' Aqad. AI-' Aqad started out imprisoned by the charm of the European heritage and inclined to liberalism and outright secularism. However, like others of his generation he returned to a support of tradition and religion. According to him "democratic Islam" is founded on four principles: civic responsibility, equality before the law, the principle of the Shllrah (the obligation of the ruled to consult with the ruler) and social solidarity.4 AI-'Aqad did not adequately clarify the principle of the sovereignty of the people. But the constant use of the term Shllrah and the democratic interpretation accompanying it in his writing can bear witness to an indirect recognition of freedom of thought and expression.
The Shari'a is not in general dogmatic when it comes to dealing with citizens' rights. Accordingly, the creation of a "social contract" is still possible without this constituting a contradiction to Islamic law. Such a contract was already proposed in the 1960's by the Pakistani leader and distinguished int~rnational jurist Muhammad Zafruallah Khan. In 1967 he published a contract under the heading "Islam and Citizens' Rights", which included, in the spirit of Abduh, Islamic arguments for the ideas inherent in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948.
Nevertheless there has yet to be found anyone in Islam who will interpret the famous Hadith spoken by the prophet Muhammad "the differences of opinion in my community are blessed" as tolerance toward democratic and liberal western outlooks and not, as is customary, as giving permission to different streams and goals within Islam.
Be this as it may, the liberal and democratic interpretation of Islam was never translated into the language of deeds. From this failure two political concepts grew in the twentieth century: of these, fudamentalist and militant Islam survived while the second, wholly secular and democratic, is withering away. The secular students of Abduh dealt bravely and comprehensively with questions of religion and state, the rights of the individual and modernization. Ahmad Lutfi AI-Sayyid (1872-1963), one. of the fathers of Egyptian nationalism, stood out among them. The extremist students of Abduh, on the other hand, bound themselves to the idea of the Salfta as the best reply to the western challenge.
Lutfi AI-Sayyid's type of secularism was no different from that preached by Christian thinkers in the Levant, who also contributed to shaping liberal democratic Arab thought. One can therefore say that from reformist Islam sprouted, if only for a short time, buds of liberal, democratic and secular thought which caused the historian Albert Hourani to crown this active period of thought (1739-1798) as the Arab "Liberal age". However, these buds withered at the feet of the new Arab regimes and with their withering this branch of ideas and of thinking was cut off.
These regimes were shaped and built by young elites which developed in the period of western presence in the Middle East between the two world wars against European colonialism. As against the veteran elites, this group saw in nationalist and anti-democratic secularism the eternal and victorious answer both to Islam and tradition, and to the occupation and western presence. Along with this, intellectual support for liberalism and democracy, even for a short time and among a thin social stratum, proves that these concepts are not always and totally alienated from Arab society. Moreover, the buds of liberalism and democracy owe their absorption to the moderate Islamic interpretation.
It seems therefore that the most positive thing that can be said of Arab Islam and its relations with liberal democracy in the twentieth century ┬Čis that it was not alone in serving as a source for the growth of dictatorial regimes. It is true that in the case of Jordan and Saudia Arabia there is no doubt that religion is the source of the character of autocratic regimes. However, in states like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia, democracy and liberalism expired as a result of European and not Islamic influence. Further, those regimes which attribute great importance to Islam in justifying their existence (and thus compromise more with the religious establishment) did not stand out for their cruder violation of human rights, or for taking anti-democratic steps. The present secular, authoritarian, patronage-oriented ideology of several of the Arab regimes is an obstacle no less effective than Islam against liberalization and democratization.

Arab secularism as an obstacle to liberalism and democracy
From their outset, the secular regimes which succeeded in freeing. their countries from the yoke of European colonialism followed European ideologies whose foundations were anti-democratic. According to the concepts of these leaders, progress did not include the democratization of society, or the liberalization of the regime.
This tendency has two main explanations. The first is connected to the ideological roots of modem Arab nationalism while the second is founded in the political reality confronting active nationalists at the end of the first world war.
It was the romantic and not the liberal stream in European nationalism which attracted the young Arab leadership generation in the 1930's. According to this concept, there is no connection between the liberation of the individual and the liberation of the nation. As in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, "liberal nationalism" was conceived as too egoistic and ineffective, because of its over-occupation with the rights of the individual. "Romantic nationalism" offered a way out not only in the case of Arab nationalism, to feelings of discrimination and inferiority complexes. This was provided through strengthening the components of national identity such as race, with its purity and superiority, and national characteristics, with their nobility. In the words of Fuad Ajami, there was a process of "the Germanization of Arab nationalism".
These concepts developed at a time when the Arab world was passing from Turkish rule to western colonial rule. Under the influence of the great western powers, in place of the Ottoman regions, semi-democratic entities were created all over the Arab world. Many believe that the establishment of "restricted democracy" contributed more than anything to the increase in anti-democratic feelings in the Arab world.5 The pseudo-democracy of the Arab world enabled a restricted elite to enjoy the fruits of western liberalisation, but they created a situation of alienation between that elite and the majority of the population. The British researcher Ronald Robinson described this process very well when he called the elites of the third world in the period of de-colonization as "collaborators". He connected the collapse of the social basis of these elites with the process of the break-up of the French and British empires in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Robinson dealt in particular with the start of the twentieth century.6 His pupil successors applied Robinson's explanation in order to analyze the fall of the British empire and the veteran elites in the Middle East at the end of the second world war - that is, in the period when the present secular elites developed.? Another researcher, Raphael Patai, determined in the 1950's that the over-proximity of the mandatory regimes in the Arab world to social elites there brought about the fall of those elites on the day of national liberation. According to Patai, it was economic polarization which brought about social alienation and finally - political uprising.8 We would add that the price which "collaborators" paid when the chips were down is not only in their own fall but in their having created an identity between democracy and liberalism and colonialism on the one hand and imperialism on the other. When the "collaborators" came down, these western concepts went bankrupt.
Thus under more secular liberatory regimes, the population lived under less democratic regimes than in the mandatory period. At the peak of the period of direct and indirect European rule, the Arab societies won a certain amount of freedom of expression and individual rights. In places like Saudia Arabia and Jordan, where there was no national war of liberation and no transformation of power took place, it also appeared that under indirect western influence (Saudi Arabia) and direct influence Gordan), there were more phenomena of democratization and liberalization of the political system.
The liberating generation saw in these fruits of democracy an over-high price to payout in return for a lack of complete independence. The formulation which sprang up for national liberation was that the more the struggle sharpened, so "secondary" subjects like freedom of expression and individual rights were increasingly pushed aside. The liberation of the homeland became the liberation of society both from the Islamic tradition of the distant past and from the European heritage of the recent past. This equation was thoroughly exploited by Michel Aflaq and Salah ad-Din aI-Bitar who establihed the Ba'ath, and Gamal Abd ai-Nasser, in order to justify an ideology which clearly and deliberately disdained individual freedom and rights.9
Therefore, the roots of dictatorship are not in Islam; on the contrary, the political picture of the Arab world at the end of the present half-century shows the supremacy of regimes with a secular ideology, mostly socialistic and dictatorial, a supremacy which created a false impression that Islam is in retreat to a position of weakness from which it will not recover. But in this picture too, the cracks were soon revealed. The outstanding breaking point was undoubtedly the six-day war and the defeat in the struggle against Israel.

The crisis of 1967 and its aftermath: Islamic moderates and fanatic fundamentalism
The 1967 crisis led the Arab leadership in two contradictory directions, which were bound to clash. The economic crisis dragged the secular regimes toward the West, particularly after the limitations of assistance from the eastern bloc were revealed. This drift to the West brought with it exposure to exterior pressures for more democratization (particularly when Democratic Presidents were in power in America and with the beginning of a period of conciliation between the two world blocs). In the Egyptian case, this development led to a dramatic change in policy toward Israel - a course which indicated the beginning of the end of the Russian presence in the region.
However, another and contrary trend was evident. The defeat at Israel's hands and the economic crisis created a wide and mass power base for the extra-establishment Islamic movements. These movements were created by the "fundamentalist" students of Muhammad Abduh.
The second generation of fundamentalists is represented in the personality of Hassan al-Bana, founder of the "Muslim Brethren" movement in 1929. In the 1930's, the members of the "Muslim Brethren" were engaged in a struggle for their recognition, in Egypt and elsewhere, as an alternative religious establishment to that of al-Azhar, but not in a direct clash with it. His activity continued until his death, apparently at the hands of agents of the Egyptian government, in 1949. His death left the movement without leadership for a long time. The leadership crisis resulted in a split in the movement, motivated not only by the personal aspirations of his followers, but also by an ideological argument over his legacy.
The discussion over his ideological legacy remained to a large extent under the surface in view of the uncompromising struggle of the officers' regime in Egypt against Islam and tradition in general, and the "Muslim Brethren" in particular. But after the 1967 crisis, the controversy emerged more strongly than ever. In brief, AI-Bana's vision was Salafi to the extent that it aspired to return Islam to its old glory. But there were additional elements: mystical, socialist and national. His main writing deals with a call to return to Muslim orthodoxy but also with a demand to society, in the name of Islam, to engage in matters of education, fostering the community, development of the industrial potential of Egypt, and social welfare projects. AI-Bana demanded full Egyptian independence under the rule of a Caliph who would impose an orthodox Islamic regime. The criterion for membership and joining the movement were not rigid or clear, and it may be that this can explain the wide membership in Egypt, which reached two million registered members. 10
Those continuing in al-Bana's path did not debate the vision but found themselves differing over the way of reaching it. His official successor, the Egyptian judge Hassan AI-Hudeibi who was appointed "supreme guide" of the movement in 1951, developed while in a Nasserist gaol a new more moderate thesis on means of work. The thesis found in his book Preachers and Not Judges was in effect a reply to a theory developed by Sayyid Qutb who competed with Hudeibi for the leadership of the movement and became its first ideologue in the 1960's. II
Qutb wrote and thought under the influence ot the mighty success of Nasserism in Egypt. The members of the movement were thrown into gaol and tortured while the secular Nasserist Messianism succeeded in undermining the base of the young mass support for the "Brethren". This failure gave birth for Qutb to the ideas of the Takfir, the Hijrah the Tali'a and the modem Jahiliya, concepts which allIed the fundamentalist to a fanatic and uncompromising struggle with authority.
In any case, Takfir means that the society in which a Muslim lives is totally evil and infidel, and therefore one cannot cooperate with any factor within it. Its fate is like that of the Jahiliya, the pre-Islamic society in the period of the Prophet. Therefore it must be Islamized and those refusing to accept the yoke of the religion and fighting against Islam - must be fought against.
The most popular way among the extremists was that of separatism within the society, even though there were those who tried to maintain a separatist way of life on the fringe of society, for instance in the caves of the Egyptian desert. Against this concept, a more moderate fundamentalism grew. The researcher Fuad Ajami called this, as noted above, "Conservative fundamentalism". As we have said, Hassan al-Hudeibi is the most faithful representative of this approach, which supports a compromise with the political reality, be it democratic or dictatorial. Another faithful representative is the Egyptian religious' Alim (sage) Salah aI-Din AI-Munagid who after 1967 published a book called 'lmadat al-Nakba (Pillars of the Disaster) calling for capitalism founded on Islam.12 This is for the most part an indictment against Nassers's years of nationalisation, not lacking traces of antisemitism in references to Marxist Zionism as the warp of the Jewish reality intended to harm Islam.
AI-Hudeibi was also arrested and tortured by Nasser's police but his conclusions were totally different from those of Qutb, who suffered similarly. AI-Hudeibi declared that the realization of Islam by the believer is an individual matter for every single Muslim, and only certain areas belong to Islamic rule. Lacking an Islamic government, every Muslim is personally responsible for his faith; nobody has the right to determine that aI)other
Muslim, or the whole Muslim society, is a sinner. Though al-Hudeibi is vague regarding the means for mobilizing the "Muslim Brethren", he stressed that persuasion and not violence are the only possible means to use.
An echo of al-Hudeibi's "preachers and not judges" can today be found in the words of Dr. 'Abed al-Mun'im Nimr, the Egyptian Minister of Religion, in the Egyptian paper AI-Mass'a: "Islam is not an extreme religion, it is a moderate and delicate religion, we must think about the violence of young people (fanatics) - we the preachers must illuminate the path of these youngsters". Nimr explains that he is not opposed to the demand of the fanatic youngsters to establish Shari'a but to the means they are employing. They betrayed the correct and authentic preachers and turned to false Messiahs in the form of Islamic fanatics. In the same paper, Dr. Ahmad Amar Hashem, deputy director of the al-Azhar University and Dr. Mustafa al-Shar'a, one of the leading Islamic philosophers of our day, wrote in a similar vein. 13 All are in one way or another people of the establishment but they have a connection to the "Brethren". Therefore a synthesis is being increasingly created in Egypt between these two poles: the secular regime and its religious establishment on the one hand, and on the other "the Muslim Brethren", two elements which in the not too distant past had been engaged in a frightful struggle.

The miraculous formulation: secular regimes and conservative fundamentalism
The pragmatic stream of al-Hudeibi succeeded in existing due in large to the change which occurred in the attachment of secular leaders like Nasser, Aflaq and aI-Bitar. Even Nasser deviated in the wake of the Six-Day War and toward the end of his life, from the rigid way with which he had dealt with the "Muslim Brethren" and the religious establishment. His successor, Anwar Sad at, succeeded in exploiting the moderate stream of al-Hudeibi. Sadat, who was in need of support against Communist opposition after his rise to power, made an alliance with the religious establishment, and even with the Islamic fundamentalists. He decided to free the leaders of the "Brethren" and thus contributed to a continuation of the modetrate dynasty in the movement's leadership.
The "Muslim Brethren" both in the Sadat and Mubarak periods continued to show pragmatism in everything connected to the term Islam Din wa-Dawla (Islam religion and state). The readiness of Sadat, and afterwards of Mubarak, to change the Egyptian constitution so that the Shari'a will be included as the main source of Egyptian legislation, and to pass a number of religious laws, brought the "Brethren" closer to the officers' regime. The present leadership of the movement condemned, and continues to condemn, acts of violence perpetrated by Islamic extremists in the 1970's and 1980's.14 And finally, only recently they agreed to participate in the central political process in Egypt of the 1980's - democratization of the Egyptian parliamentary system. This course pushed many of the past supporters of the "Brethren"into the arms of radical Islamic organizations which rose in the spirit of Qutb's teachings. These bodies are described widely and in detail in several sources. 15
The radicals are divided and in spite of particular successes (like the assassination of Sad at), they did not succeed in any Arab state in bringing about a real change in the government (Sudan maybe an exception where they rule jointly with a military regime and time will tell whether Algeria is the first Arab state to fall into their hands). Pragmatic fundamentalist Islam which agreed to cooperate with existing regimes won significant achievements, including government positions in Jordan and Tunisia. In Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and recently also Syria, the cooperation is increasing. In Algeria the cooperation came too late and only under American pressure. The government's unwillingess to co-opt the extremists left the Islamic Front there united and able to win the elections when the FLN, again under Western pressure, decided to use a false democratization as the best means of coping with the Islamic challenge. Asad's Syria is an interesting reflection of this process. In this state, pure secularism recorded unusual achievements because of the Alawi basis of the regime. Yet even in the 1960's the leaders of the Ba'ath found out that pure secularism faces a hard struggle. Since his rise to power in 1970, Hafez al-Asad has been aware of the need to reach some compromise with the religious establishment. In March 1973 the Syrian President surrendered to the demands of the Ulama and took back the previous resolution to eliminate all the points indicating a connection between religion and state in Syria.16 In Tunisia, too, the secular government found that it was necessary to retreat from attempts at total struggle with religion. The compromise is therefore not always dictated by the establishment, but by more militant factors even if they too, according to their world-outlook, oppose any cooperation with the secular regime. 17
The formula of pragmatic Islam, which was compelled to cooperate with the national government but in return succeeds in restricting Since the establishment of the Saudi Arabian state, the dynasty agreed to divide power with the religious establishment: internal affairs are subject to far-reaching influence by that establishment - to the extent of maintaining the principle of the Tatbiq (direct Islamic legislation) while foreign and security affairs are in the hands of the ruling family which, at least outside the homeland, is not outstanding for its religious orthodoxy.
Pragmatic fundamentalist Islam which agreed to cooperate with existing regimes won significant achievements
In Pakistan and in Sudan these formulas have been existing for a long time.
In the Saudi formula, foreign and security affairs, which were from the start secular to a fanatic degree, and now accept compromise - are the property only of the rulers. One can thus say that whatever processes will pertain in the Arab-Israel conflict, they will not be influenced by the balance of forces between conservative fundamentalism and the ruling elites. Moreover, the readiness of the religious establishment to take part in government became clear in several places as contributing to democratization, as witnessed by developments in Kuwait and Afghanistan in the 1960's.

Islamic pragmatism and democratization attempts
Were we necessarily inclined to the equation of Islam as a force constituting a barrier to democratization and to liberalism, we would have to conclude that any compromise with the religious establishment ultimately leads to the strengthening of dictatorship and theocracy in the Arab world. It seems, however, that it is precisely western secular theories which are the basis of a lack of democracy in the Arab world. Islam and tradition are not everywhere catalysts for anti-democratic processes. In the last three decades we were actually witness to a number of political developments in the Arab and Muslim worlds in which Islam and tradition served as a factor and basis for experiments in democracy.
From 1964 to 1976, a "tribal democracy" was maintained in Kuwait for twelve years, under the leadership of the AI-Sabah family, founded on an equal division of state resources between all its residents along with a larger degree of political participation by society. This process was stopped in 1976 but for our discussion it is important to note that tradition and Islam served here as the basis for democratization. 18 The Kuwaiti experiment was directed from above and this may have caused its failure. But the readiness of traditional-monarchial regimes, which draw justification for their rule from religion and tradition, to undertake democratization processes, is no less, and may sometimes be more, than that of secular regimes. 19
On the other hand, in Afghanistan the experiment in Islamic democratization was motivated from below. The need arose out of a fear of a split between Shi'ites and Sunnies. Between the years 1964 and 1973 Shi'ite and Sunni bodies cooperated in government with the help of a western democratic-parliamentary structure. But the two main groups, the "Islamic Front" and the "Islamic Youth" were more occupied with theological arguments than with preserving democracy, and the experiment failed. Here too, however, as in Kuwait, outside factors (Pakistan and the USSR) contributed to the failure out of fear of a precedent.20
The researcher Fuad Ajami goes as far as to claim that in the wake of the Khomeini revolution in Iran, there arose a wave of panic in the Arab world, which found expression in hurried democratization experiments. He claims that the Arab leaders used democratization as a means of strengthening Arab unity against Khomeinism. Though unsuccessful, this democratization was founded on Islam and Arabism.2l Yet it is too early to assume that we have a failure here, because the process is still proceeding, and it is once again worthwhile to note that Islam served as the basis for this course of events.

Conclusion
Islam, then, served in the past as a source of inspiration for democratic and liberal outlooks. However, this interpretation of religious dogma, which was largely confined to enlightened circles, also did not last long. From "Reformist Islam" there grew a secular, anti-democratic trend which reached its peak in the 1960's. At its side there developed a fundamentalist trend which failed in its political struggle.
The results of the Six-Day War forced the secular regimes to manifest moderation both toward the processes of democratization and liberalization and, notwithstanding the contradiction, toward Islamic fundamentalism. This new policy of the regimes toward the Islamic movements and establishments brought about an escalation in the stand of the extremists, as one can see in our day, but it also led to a division in the fundamentalist camp. The fundamentalist trend responded to the Arab leaders with both a pragmatism of its own toward their policy and their very being, and with readiness to compromise with the society and the reality surrounding it.22
Where, as in Algeria and the Sudan, the secular military regimes refused any kind of significant co-operation, the fundamentalists remained united and succeeded in either taking over (the Sudan) or striving with good prospects to do so (in Algeria). However, as the Sudanese case shows ┬Čonce in power, pragmatism prevails at least to some extent, and an internal struggle between radicals and extremists ensues.
Pragmatism can even be found in fundamentalist organizations such as the Hamas and ai-Jihad al-Islami. Like other fundamentalist movements these are groups of political activists striving for power in the name of a most radical and uncompromising interpretation of Islam's fundamentals. They thrive in areas hit by poverty, unemploymnet and foreign or military occupation. As such they are not made of one mind: there are those among them who are more pragmatic and would wish to partake in the running of the state wherever this is offered to them. Their co-option into the Jordanian and Saudi governments is a case in point. It is also probable that in Gaza some of the Hamas people will similiarly aspire for co-option with the PLO, if the latter decides wisely to offer them a share in the government.
Such a reconciliation can lead to those extremists left behind striking with all their might, as indeed happened in Egypt when Sadat compromised with the Muslin Brethren. The reconciliation then led to the emergence of the ai-Jihad al-Islami, the predecessor of the Gamat al-Islamiyya, which have meanwhile succeeded in ruining Egypt's tourism and could wreak even more serious harm. Like the extreme Hamas groups, these are people interested in action as such, even death. Their criterion is not success or failure, or the possible repercussions of their terror on society.
But even Egypt can still find the way to deal with the new threat. A combined approach of easing social and economic problems on the one hand, and the readiness to accomodate parties which stress the importance of tradition and religion, on the other, may help to withstand the challenge of Islamic extremism.
Even were another thinker in the image of Abduh not to rise in the Arab world, the seeds which he sowed nevertheless created a new reality. Islamic fundamentalism did not wither away, but remained with significant potential from a social and political point of view. However as against this, the national Arab state survived mainly in its secular image, and its power of resistance increased.23 It ensues that these two forces can learn to compromise. This conciliation can also portend well for the ability of the Arab states to adapt to the existence of the state of Israel.

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